DIY home renovation has been trending since the first national lockdown in 2020. Which projects top the list, and how much could they improve our homes' value as we head into 2021?
With 9.9 million people furloughed in December 2020, the nation had time to spend on passion projects like renovating rooms, tiling bathrooms, replacing flooring, fitting new kitchen units or planning major construction projects. The trend has continued into 2021 as we remain in lockdown, but the good news is that research suggests those who get their DIY home renovations right can enjoy as much as a £50,000 increase in their property value.
Improving Property Value a Priority for One in Five Brits
Improving property value is key for one in five Brits who decide to take on DIY home renovations. According to research, people have spent an average of £4,035.70 each on DIY projects since last March.
DIY Home Renovation Surged During the First Lockdown
Spending more time at home this past year has pushed home projects higher up the agenda. Squeaky floorboards, threadbare carpets and gaudy tiles aren't as avoidable as they once were!
With working from home being the new normal, people also have more time to spend on passion projects. The average full-time worker would spend one week a year commuting to and from work, which equates to around 164 hours that can now be used elsewhere - including sprucing up the home with DIY renovation projects.
With 60% of Brits grabbing their drills, screwdrivers, hammers and saws, what home renovation ideas have the UK's DIYers been spending their time on? To find out, we compared average Google searches in 2020 compared to 2019. Here are the searches that skyrocketed!
Top 10 Home DIY Google Searches
1. DIY Home Office: +80% Increase in Searches
The most searched for DIY home renovation idea of 2020, unsurprisingly, is DIY home office.
Naturally, those working from home want a comfortable, practical office space to work from — whether that's a corner unit or an entire office extension.
And the investment is worth it. A home office extension could boost your property price by an average of 8.4% (around £20,000 for the average UK home). This number may only increase with more people working from home permanently.
2. DIY Tiling: +55% Increase in Searches
Tiling is a relatively inexpensive and straightforward way to boost the value of a property. And the potential benefit is huge when you consider that kitchens and bathrooms are the two rooms with the highest return on investment for renovating.
3. DIY Splashbacks: +45% Increase in Searches
Splashbacks can be added easily, inexpensively and with minimal disruption, making them a popular DIY home renovation idea.
With bright colours, patterns, mosaics, bespoke designs and sleek glass, splashbacks can fit any taste and are a simple method to make a home more eye-catching and valuable to potential buyers.
4. DIY Plumbing: +33% Increase in Searches
From clogged drains to installing a whole new toilet, there are plenty of plumbing repairs and installations that can be done yourself, potentially saving hundreds in repairman costs.
Simple tweaks like new taps and showerheads can add as much as £7,000 to your property's value.
5. DIY Carpets: +29% Increase in Searches
By installing new carpets yourself, you'll save money on installation, labour and old carpet removal. The only costs will be any utensils you use and the carpet itself.
Changing carpets is a key factor in selling your home, especially if the old carpet is worn, old fashioned or in bright, bold colours. Clean, new carpets in neutral colours are a great selling point for any property, as new owners won't be too worried about replacing them.
6. DIY Gardening: +21% Increase in Searches
Gardening has been more popular than ever during lockdown. Brits are even planning to use their gardens in the chillier winter months, with searches for outdoor heating up 300%!
Brits have on average spent £88 on garden furniture, £61 on garden DIY equipment, £39 on garden tools and £34 on garden décor.
And while gardens are notorious for ongoing work and maintenance, the payoff can be worth it. A well-kept garden can add as much as £2,000 to your property's value, with sheds, patio/paving and secure fencing being essential features to buyers.
7. DIY Lighting: +19% Increase in Searches
LEDs, overhead lighting, up-lighters, table lamps and pendants are easy and simple ways to highlight features, soften the mood and create a warm, homely atmosphere.
Plus, making rooms look light, bright and inviting is essential to appealing to buyers and getting the best value possible for your property. LED lighting can boost value by 1–3% (£7,200 for the average UK home).
8. DIY Extension: +13% Increase in Searches
Adding an extension to a property is a hefty task, but there's no better time to do so. Single storey extensions add around 4–7% to a property's value. Even better: double-storey extensions add as much as 11% — about £26,000 for the average UK home.
9. DIY Deck: +12% Increase in Searches
More than half of homeowners have been painting fences and laying decking in preparation for future summer BBQs with family and friends.
Decking has the potential to add as much as £5,000 to the value of your home. It's essential to pay attention to these details, as buyers definitely will!
10. DIY Plastering: +7% Increase in Searches
One in ten homeowners have been DIY plastering and laying flooring. When done well, good plastering makes a house more durable and reduces how much maintenance must be done, increasing the value of a home by around £1,000–£2,500.
"2020 and 2021 has seen us spending more time at home than ever before. As a result, more people have tried their hand at DIY to improve their homes and make them more comfortable. We applaud anyone who takes the time to improve their living space; however it's important to note that DIY isn't as simple as it seems, and if you'd like to add genuine value to your home, it's worth consulting with an expert. If you are renovating to sell your home, we recommend finding out the value of your home before you undertake any serious renovations, so you can focus your time and energy on the areas that can add the most value." - Warren McCann, Area Director, Douglas&Gordon.
How Much Are Your DIY Home Renovations Worth?
Want to find out how much your home is worth? Get in touch for a free valuation today.
Value to homes: By analysing the value of different DIY home fixes according to mortgage lenders, industry professionals and the National Association of Realtors (NAR), My Tool Shed calculated that DIY home improvements could improve the value of the home by tens of thousands.
Increase in searches: We analysed the increase in Google searches by comparing Google Trend data in 2020 to 2019.